The Legal 500

Mayer Brown

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United States

Top-tier recommendations


  • United States: Real estate and construction > Construction
  • United States: Real estate and construction > Real estate

Latin America: International firms

Top-tier recommendations


United States: Finance

Within Asset finance and leasing, tier 4

Headed in New York by George Miller, Mayer Brown’s asset finance team also has partners in Chicago and Los Angeles and works closely with teams in France and Asia. The group’s expertise extends across a range of asset classes, including aviation, maritime, automotive, as well as energy and equipment finance. The firm acts for both lenders and lessors and recently advised the underwriter in a multimillion-dollar railcar securitization. Another highlight was representing Key Equipment Finance on a $50m secured equipment finance facility. Jason Bazar and Barbara Goodstein are both very active on this front. Clients include Credit Suisse Securities, Mitsui Rail Capital, Con Edison and the Bank of Montreal.

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Within Bank lending (including other sources of financing), tier 5

Mayer Brown has established a strong reputation for lender work, where it practices out of offices in Chicago, New York, Houston, Charlotte and Washington DC. Doug Doetsch and David Duffee jointly head the expanding team, which has recruited three new partners in the past year, including Bill Hart from Baker Botts L.L.P. in Houston, Larry Berkovich from Dechert LLP in Charlotte, and George Baptista from Allen & Overy LLP in New York. The firm has become increasingly dominant on the fund finance side and recently advised Bank of America as lead arranger on a $1bn subscription credit facility for GSO Capital Solutions Funds. Also of note is its ‘exceptional’ energy finance practice in Houston, which is ‘absolutely top in terms of experience and commercial attitude’; in particular, Tristan Propst provides ‘superb legal advice’ and is ‘proactive in the right measures’. A recent highlight for this side of the practice was advising an American subsidiary of HSBC on a $300m loan to LLOG Bluewater, a joint venture between Blackstone and LLOG Exploration.

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Within Capital markets: debt offerings, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s team is spread across various financial centers through out the US, enabling it to deliver a ‘reliable and prompt service’. In Chicago, Edward Best and Jennifer Carlson, represented J.P. Morgan Securities, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriters in The Allstate Corporation’s issuance of $500m 5.1% fixed-to-floating rate subordinated debentures due 2053. The practice has particular expertise in automotive finance; example highlights include Best advising Hyundai Capital America in its inaugural Rule 144A/Reg S issuance of $500m 1.625% senior notes due 2015 and $500m 2.125% senior notes due 2017, and representing Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation in the issuance of $300m of 2.65% notes due 2018 as well as $700m worth of floating rate notes due 2016. Also recommended are John Berkery in New York and Philip Niehoff in Chicago.

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Within Capital markets: equity offerings, tier 4

Mayer Brown represents issuers and underwriters alike on deals spanning a broad range of industries. Chicago-based Edward Best and James Barry worked alongside John Berkery in New York to represent Goldman Sachs as underwriter in MGIC Investment Corporation’s offering of 135 million shares of common stock and $450m worth of 2% convertible senior notes due 2020 in a transaction totaling close to $700m. Best also represented Potbelly Corporation in its $105m IPO. The team expanded its Houston presence by hiring William Heller and Harry Beaudry from Thompson & Knight LLP.

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Within Capital markets: global offerings, tier 4

Based across the firm’s Chicago, New York and Houston offices, the team at Mayer Brown has expertise advising clients in Europe, Canada and Latin America on a range of cross-border offerings. Recent issuer-side highlights include advising TransCanada PipeLines in its investment grade issuance of $1bn 2.5% senior notes due 2022. Chicago-based Michael Hermsen led on the deal. The firm also continued to represent Turkish private bank Garanti Bank in global capital markets matters, and recently advised on its issuance of TL750m 7.375% Notes due 2018. Bernd Bohr, who is based between London and New York, and James Patti in Chicago led on the deal.

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Within Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings, tier 4

Mayer Brown handled a wide-range of high-yield offerings in 2013, reflecting its broad expertise on the issuer sie. A team led by New York partners John Berkery and Rory Cohen and Chicago-based Paul Theiss, advised Plastipak Holdings in its issuance of $375m 6.5% senior notes due 2021. Berkery also acted for Wells Fargo as underwriter in Exterran Partners’ issuance of $350m 6% senior notes due 2021. In Houston, Bill Hart, Tristan Propst and Marc Folladori represented ION Geophysical Corporation in its offering of $175m 8.125% senior secured second priority notes due 2018. In Washington DC, counsel Leslie Cruz acted for Indo Energy Finance II on a $500m issue of 6.375% senior notes due 2023.

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Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), tier 4

Mayer Brown’s extensive international network means it has ‘strong capability in multi-jurisdictional cases’, placing it firmly among the ‘top international bankruptcy firms’. The restructuring practice, which has a strong creditor-side bias, is a ‘top choice for large distressed debt transactions’ and billings are ‘always reasonable and never need to be rationalized to the borrower’. Additional plus-points are its ‘deep bench of talent from partner to associate’, with lawyers praised as ‘highly commercial and technically very savvy’. Group head Brian Trust is ‘very well known in restructuring circles’ and is leading the team’s advice to BNP Paribas/Fortis Bank as agent for a syndicate of lenders in the out-of-court restructuring of a series of project finance loans worth $500m. Howard Beltzer is an ‘extremely knowledgeable bankruptcy practitioner with exceptional interpersonal skills’; in a rare debtor-side mandate, Beltzer represented ATP Oil & Gas Corporation in its Chapter 11 case, which involved over $3bn in debt. Also singled out are Frederick Hyman, a ‘strong negotiator who presses the interest of the client towards a better-than-expected outcome’, and Joel Moss, whose former in-house experience means he has ‘a deep and unique understanding of what his bank clients are looking for’. Named attorneys are based in New York.

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Within Financial services: regulatory, tier 4

Headed by the ‘highly responsiveScott Anenberg, Mayer Brown’s seven-partner team has ‘excellent attention to detail’, and advises banks, broker-dealers and insurers across the gamut of regulation affecting their businesses. Leveraging the resources of a global network of offices, the firm regularly provides unified cross-border representation, and is currently advising a major financial institution on the global implications of the Volcker rule and other aspects of Dodd-Frank. It is also regularly sought out by trade bodies; as well as advising the Swiss Bankers Association on several matters, it recently assisted the Global Financial Markets Association on its comment letter relating to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s proposal to fundamentally revise the regulatory capital treatment for securitization transactions. The ‘responsive and practicalThomas Delaney provides ‘a very high-quality work product’ to international clients seeking to reconcile and comply with overlapping and potentially conflicting provisions of US and international law. The ‘very analytical’ Alex Lakatos is also regularly engaged in cross-border matters, and is a ‘real expert on OFAC issues’. Other recommended partners include ‘excellent communicator’ Jerome Roche and the ‘excellent’ David Sahr, who regularly assists international banks on the regulatory implications of expanding their operations into the US. Other clients include Capital One Financial Corporation, TD Bank and UBS.

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Within Project finance, Mayer Brown is a second tier firm,

The ‘very strong practice’ at Mayer Brown has seven partners split between Chicago, New York and Washington DC. The firm is a leader in PPPs for both public and private clients; for example, Chicago partners John Schmidt, Joseph Seliga and David Narefsky advised the Puerto Rico PPP Authority on the state’s airport privatization, concluding the first-of-its-kind deal in February 2013. Narefsky and Seliga also acted alongside New York-based George Miller to advise consortium WVB East End Partners on its $1.1bn sponsorship of the design-build-finance-operate-maintain PPP for the East End Crossing, a planned toll bridge and roadway that will cross over the Ohio River between Louisville and Southern Indiana and will be implemented through a long-term availability contract with Indiana’s finance authority and transport department; the funding took the form of a bond issuance of $676.8m. Bond financing is generally an active area for the firm, and it is also ‘very active in Latin America’, with Washington DC-based Christopher Erckert particularly recommended for his work in the jurisdiction. Erckert advised BNP Paribas and Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) on funding the development of Lima’s urban train system; initiatives include extending the line and adding ten passenger stations. Erckert also advised a lender on the $500m mining of rock sulphate in the non-metallic Bayóvar 9 concession in Piura, Peru. Renewable energy, and solar projects especially, also remain an area of strength, for which Paul Astolphi is particularly recommended. The firm also has a growing practice across Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa; Thomas Eldert advised OPIC as lender in the construction of a $100m hotel in Baghdad. Chicago-based Barry Machlin and Nathan Galer, and Houston-based Robert Goldberg, are also recommended.

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Within Structured finance, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Top in volume and quality’, Mayer Brown continues its ‘terrific’ structured finance practice. With a ‘big footprint’ in securitization, the firm covers the whole range of asset classes from mortgage-backed securities, credit cards and auto and equipment loans and leases to more exotic categories, advising both arrangers and issuers. It is ‘also strong on regulatory advice insofar as it impacts securitization’, recently representing major trade associations in the US, Europe and Asia in their joint comment letter on the Basel Committee’s proposal of its revised securitization framework for the regulatory capital treatment of securitization investments. The team is spread across New York, Chicago and Charlotte, and peers ‘think the world of’ practice founder Jason Kravitt, who ‘deserves structured finance knighthood’ for his longstanding experience; he is also one of the founding members of the newly created Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG). Practice co-head Stuart Litwin, who is the initial chairman of the SFIG legal counsel committee and Carol Hitselberger, chairwoman of the SFIG’s committee for advocacy on the Volcker Rule, are frequently recommended. ‘Top player’ and co-head Jon Van Gorp is ‘a real pleasure to work with’; together with Angela Ulum, who has expertise in the auto loan space, he advised Bank of America on the formation of a captive auto finance company for Volvo Car Financial Services, the first-ever auto financing program for Volvo’s captive finance company. Another highlight for the group was advising Santander Consumer USA on the creation of its new Chrysler finance business, including its leasing business, the preparation of SEC registration statements for future securitizations and a $4.5bn syndicated multi-bank committed asset-backed commercial paper financing for auto loans and leases. Lawrence Berkovich from Dechert LLP strengthened the firm’s CLO practice and works alongside experts Paul Forrester, Keith Oberkfell, and Joshua Cohn, who leads the firm’s derivatives and structured products practice.

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United States: Industry focus

Within Environment: litigation, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown is the ‘first and last stop when it comes to environmental law’, and has proven itself able to obtain ‘extremely favorable results’ for clients. Its recent work includes representing the United States Sugar Corporation in two cases concerning CWA permits; in the first case, the company intervened in a Florida suit brought by the environmental group Friends of the Everglades in a bid to ensure that water transfers require permits, and the second, related case also involves a challenge to the EPA’s water transfer rule, which does not require permits of water transfers across states even if pollutants are introduced – the firm successfully won on appeal against introducing new permit restrictions. Other clients include Caterpillar Inc, DowAgrosciences LLC and Dow Chemical Company. Mark Ter Molen is ‘extremely collaborative’, and is valued for his ‘intellect’, ‘diplomacy’ and ‘superior level of knowledge’ in the environmental arena. Richard Bulger co-heads the environmental action group with Ter Molen, and is particularly experienced in toxic tort matters. Both are based in Chicago.

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Within Insurance: advice to insurers, tier 4

Mayer Brown’s global insurance practice has litigation expertise in a number of areas, including property and casualty, reinsurance, professional liability, appellate proceedings and international investigations. The practice represents both insurers and reinsurers in arbitrations, and also handles cross-border disputes. The global insurance industry group is led by James Woods and Stephen Rooney in New York, while Washington DC-based Fred Reinke and David Chadwick in London chair the insurance dispute resolution practice. Reinke and Alex Lakatos are representing AXA in an action against ING alleging a breach of a stock purchase agreement under which AXA acquired several Mexican companies from ING. The practice is representing Ally Insurance against allegations of bad faith and breaches of a motors inventory coverage policy in connection to a Hurricane Sandy claim. Other clients include PartnerRe.

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Within Insurance: non-contentious, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s insurance group offers expertise in a wide range of transactional matters including capital markets and corporate finance, and has a strong focus on insurance-linked securities, insurance regulation and M&A. The global insurance industry practice, which is co-led by James Woods and Stephen Rooney in New York and David Chadwick in London, continues to work on major transactional and regulatory matters for high-profile clients including AXA, Tokio Marine and Catalina Holdings. The group acted as counsel to issuer MetroCat Re in a first-of-its-kind catastrophe bond offering covering storm-related losses. The transaction provided New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) with insurance coverage otherwise unavailable to the authority in traditional insurance markets, and marked the first time the MTA accessed the capital markets to manage its property damage risks. M&A specialist Reb Wheeler represented Arch Capital in its $300m acquisition of CMG Mortgage Insurance Company and CMG Mortgage Assurance Company from PMI. The firm’s highlights in 2013 also included handling ACE’s $865m acquisition of Mexico’s sixth largest P&C insurer, ABA Seguros, from Ally Financial; and representing Aurigen during its purchase of Brokers National Life Assurance Company.

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United States: Intellectual property

Within Patent litigation: full coverage, tier 5

Mayer Brown’s Alan Grimaldi and John Mancini lead the patent litigation practice from Washington DC and New York respectively. It draws on the firm’s excellent litigation credentials to handle cases across a broad range of industries. Highlights included prevailing for defendant GlaxoSmithKline in a case against Biogen and Genentech, where the plaintiffs’ request to rehear the dispute was rejected by a federal appeal court. The team obtained a summary judgment ruling of invalidity on behalf of defendant Google, against claims brought by online service buySAFE, of infringing a patented method for guaranteeing online transactions, which was ruled as an abstract method and therefore not patentable. An appeal ruling upheld a previous win of patent validity for Valeant Pharmaceuticals, to retain patent exclusivity on its antidepressant drug Aplenzin against Actavis. The practice also obtained dismissal of infringement claims allegedly covering patents for fats that alter cholesterol in the blood on behalf of Nestlé and Kellogg. Other key litigators across the life sciences and hi-tech sectors include Lisa Ferri and Brian Nolan. Gary Hnath is recommended for ITC-related proceedings.

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Within Trademarks: litigation, tier 5

Mayer Brown’s John Mancini, based in New York, is ‘a great negotiator and litigator’ on contentious trademark matters. The practice draws on its strength-in-depth of litigation capabilities to handle TTAB, federal trial and appellate work. It is currently acting for lifestyle magazine publisher DM Luxury LLC in bringing a trademark case against Celebrity Cruises both for its use of the Modern Luxury mark and its application to trademark register ‘That’s Modern Luxury’. The practice has also been representing Google and YouTube as defendants in a dispute alleging trademark infringement and dilution claims brought by music artist P Moses, and handling TTAB proceedings for Deutsche Telekom. Other ongoing work includes representing Nestlé in both TTAB opposition proceedings in relation to protecting its Skinny Cow mark, as well as defending it against claims of alleged trademark infringement brought by Nature’s Variety regarding the client’s Smartblend True Instinct product brand.

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United States: Investment fund formation and management

Within Private equity funds, tier 4

Mayer Brown’s Chicago-based team advises a wide spectrum of fund managers on the full range of issues, with a particularly strong focus on the real estate and emerging markets spaces. Its global reach, which includes associated offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, makes it an especially strong choice for emerging market funds work in the region; in a reflection of this strength, it recently advised a major Latin American fund investing in residential real estate. John Noell leads the seven-partner practice, which counts UBS, Prudential Real Estate Investors and CB Richard Ellis Investors among its clients.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, tier 4

Clients are ‘very happy with the representation and advice’ they receive from Mayer Brown. Significant work includes defending and negotiating a settlement on behalf of a global financial institution with the DOL, and successfully resolving alleged prohibited transactions arising out of the investment of fiduciary assets in affiliated mutual funds that were the subject of an SEC market timing settlement. It also advised Textura on its IPO. Clients include Wells Fargo and DuPont Capital Management. The ‘exceptionalDebra Hoffman in Chicago ‘is substantively wonderful, very responsive and provides plain-English advice’. New York-based Maureen Gorman, and Lennine Occhino in Chicago, are also recommended.

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United States: Litigation

Within International trade, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown is a ‘go-to firm for international trade matters’, with a team of ‘skilled professionals’ whom clients ‘whole-heartedly recommend’. It enjoys a premium reputation for WTO work, steering complex cases under the direction of the ‘particularly goodDuane Layton, and also has strong expertise in trade remedy, customs and export control matters. Key mandates included successfully representing the government of Indonesia in a USDOC anti-subsidy investigation relating to frozen warm-water shrimp; and acting for Rayonier in a Chinese anti-dumping investigation into dissolving pulp from the US, Canada and Brazil, one of the largest Chinese trade cases against the US. Other clients include ArcelorMittal, Microsoft and Time Warner. Also recommended are Simeon Kriesberg, Michael Kantor, Timothy Keeler, Sydney Mintzer and Matthew McConkey, all in Washington DC.

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Within Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown is experienced in advising on asbestos and silica claims and defends personal and property claims associated with facilities, such as air and water emissions from industrial and chemical facilities, as well as releases associated with gas plant waste products, landfills and other facilities. Chicago-based practice head Michael Olsen recently obtained a defense verdict for Union Carbide Corporation in a jury trial in Los Angles and secured a summary judgment verdict on the eve of trial in a consolidated mass tort action involving approximately 8000 plaintiffs.

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Within Securities: shareholder litigation, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

The New York office of Mayer Brown has many outstanding litigation partners who are ‘strong in this area of law’, including co-chair of the global securities litigation and enforcement group Joseph De Simone, as well as Richard Spehr, Michele Odorizzi and Steven Wolowitz, who all do ‘important cutting-edge work’. The firm’s ‘very strong finance practice puts it in the frame for work relating to securitizations’, such as the defense of many claims for BNY Mellon; Matthew Ingber and Christopher Houpt represented it in the $8.5bn settlement with mortgage lender Countrywide – the largest private litigation settlement in US history. Bank of America, Barclays, UBS and Goldman Sachs are among the firm’s other notable financial services clients, and it is also seeing a steady flow of mandates from Chinese companies listed in the US. The firm is busy across its network of offices with US group co-chair Richard Rosenfeld in Washington DC and Mark Manela in Houston among the experienced practitioners in the 26-partner team.

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Within Supreme Court and appellate, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s ‘team of superstars’ provides ‘top-level legal analysis and writing, has a deep understanding of the Court, and business understanding is woven into its advocacy’. 11 of the firm’s appellate lawyers have argued 228 cases before the Supreme Court. The firm prevailed on behalf of Georgia-Pacific West in Georgia-Pacific West v Northwest Environmental Defense Center, when the Court reversed an earlier adverse judgment in the Ninth Circuit ordering the clients to pay costly permits. At appellate level, the firm handled several Engle progeny appeals before the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of Philip Morris USA, and also represented Arkema Inc. in the DC Circuit in a case related to the EPA cap-and-trade system, and United Airlines in its $1.1bn price-fixing cartel fight with DPWN Holdings in the Second Circuit. Numerous individual lawyers attract praise: team head Lauren Goldman is a ‘superb relationship partner who drafts excellent briefs and provides great judgment on all legal issues’; Stephen Shapiro is valued for ‘his strategic guidance, theme development, and understanding of how cases are viewed from chambers’; Evan Tager isan outstanding appellate strategist and brief writer, and a highly skilled oralist’; Richard Katskee’s ‘experience of leading constitutional challenges in trial and appellate courts is invaluable’; Donald Falk is ‘focused on class action issues’; Archis Parasharami and Kevin Ranlett are ‘outstanding strategists and brief writers’; Andrew Frey is ‘super-intelligent and most helpful on all complex legal issues including the workings and procedures of the Supreme Court and other appellate courts’; Andrew Pincus has a superb reputation; Dan Himmelfarb and Andrew Tauber are both ‘dedicated “go to” legal partners who bring a unique blend of style, personality and high-octane brain power to deliver superior advocacy’. All in all, this is ‘a team of superstars’.

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Within Trade secrets, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s eight-partner team benefits from the reputation of John Mancini, who is ‘a star in the trade secrets field’. Another advantage is the firm’s ability to leverage off its global network to assist clients in the US, Europe, and Asia. In 2013, the firm represented Elekta in a trade secret misappropriation action by Varian Medical Systems in Texas; the case was settled on terms involving no liability finding against Elekta or its employees and no injunctive relief against Elekta or its employees; Theresa Gillis and Vanessa Biondo led the team. A team led by Mancini and Biondo achieved a significant trial victory for Faiveley Transport in a trade secrets case against one of its key competitors, Wabtec Corporation; the client claimed that Wabtec Corporation had improperly used its manufacturing drawings containing information required to make certain of its train brake parts; this resulted in a significant damages award made to the client.

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Within White-collar criminal defense, tier 6

The ‘exceptional white-collar practice’ at Mayer Brown saw an uptick in FCPA-related work, acting for a number of companies in internal investigations where external regulators are not yet involved. The arrival of a new partner to each of the firm’s Washington DC, Chicago and New York offices bolstered its strength. Two recent cases, which illustrate the diversity of the practice, are negotiating a settlement with the government for a publicly traded company for whistleblower complaints brought under the False Claims Act where the 13 different states and localities’ claims were dismissed without payment; and Chicago-based William Michael represented an individual who was involved in a large Ponzi scheme in which over 12 defendants received custodial sentences; through the individual’s cooperation and testimony, she was sentenced to probation only. Also in the Chicago office is ‘excellent trial lawyerVincent Connelly, who ‘remains cool under pressure’. Praise is also leveled at Washington DC-based Kelly Kramer, who is ‘a tremendous legal mind and tenacious advocate’; he and his team are ‘able to engage in rigorous defense in the courtroom’. Laurence Urgenson joined from Kirland & Ellis.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s multi-disciplinary privacy practice is supported by the firm’s international offices and provides a ‘high level of service based on specific business acumen’. The group is regularly called upon to assist major corporations with data privacy and security regulatory compliance and to help develop cross-border data transfer solutions and data breach notification policies and procedures. John Mancini in New York and Jeffrey Taft in Washington DC, who both have ‘deep legal and regulatory knowledge’, assisted W. R. Berkley Corporation with its website user privacy policy and IT security and incident response policies. Paul Roy in Chicago advised The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company on its global agreement with Microsoft for the provision of 360 cloud services. Chicago-based Rebecca Eisner is recommended for her combined outsourcing and data privacy expertise.

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Within Technology: outsourcing, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s ‘incomparable’ 50-attorney practice, led by Daniel Masur in Washington DC and Paul Roy in Chicago, handles strategic and complex outsourcing for major US and international clients. The team is lauded for its ‘professionalism, responsiveness and integrity’; additionally, Masur’s ability to ‘earn the respect of all parties to the deal makes it easier to address the thorniest contractual issues’. Acting for both customers and suppliers, the group’s expertise and experience spans both information technology outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO), including multi-sourcing, next-generation strategic sourcing, renegotiations and terminations, as well as issues surrounding multiple providers, offshore providers, spin-offs and divestitures. It also has niche expertise in areas such as facilities management, telecoms, cloud computing and privacy. In an outsourcing transaction valued at over $1bn, Brad Peterson in Chicago assisted CEMEX with outsourcing its back-office operations in 50 countries. Masur and Linda Rhodes are advised VF Corporation on negotiating and implementing its global sourcing strategy, including a master services agreement with Accenture and additional ERP integration services in the US, Europe and China. Other mandates included assisting Corelogic with its $300m agreements with Dell for data center and related IT services as well as BPO and procurement services agreements. Rebecca Eisner is a ‘commercially savvy, pragmatic legal and business adviser’. Gregory Manter left to join DLA Piper.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s ‘well-established and well-regarded’ practice has ‘excellent legislative and telecommunications regulatory experience’; key to this standing is the reputation of Howard Waltzman and Angela Giancarlo, both based in Washington DC. The group is complemented by the firm’s well-regarded telecoms litigation practice; for example, in Chicago, it has handled numerous landmark cases under the 1996 Telecommunications Act in multiple forums. The firm has handled significant litigation before the FCC, regulatory commissions, state and federal courts, federal Courts of Appeals for seven Circuits, and the US Supreme Court. AT&T is a key client, having called upon the firm to act in consumer class actions and before regulatory commissions in several states concerning the rates it pays for access to the networks of local carriers; the firm is also advising it on the forthcoming spectrum auctions. Giancarlo is advising analysts at Wells Fargo Securities on legislative and regulatory activity that affects their investment recommendations. Other key clients include Motorola Mobility, which the firm is advising on an ongoing basis both in the US and globally, as well as the Wireless Association (CTIA) and the US Chamber of Commerce. In Chicago, Theodore Livingston and Demetrios Metropoulos are key names to note. Former practice co-head Donald Stockdale left the firm for a role in industry.

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United States: Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts

Within Antitrust, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown is appreciated for its ‘excellent breadth of advice’, with a 22-partner antitrust practice spread across Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. The group’s ‘overall level of service is superior on all counts, including expertise, responsiveness and understanding of the client’s business’. It has a focus on antitrust litigation, in particular private class actions, and has been very active in appellate proceedings. Nestlé, which the group previously assisted on its $11.9bn acquisition of Pfizer’s infant nutrition business, instructed the firm in a class action over an alleged price-fixing conspiracy with competitors; the lead partners on the case are the renowned Carmine Zarlenga and Adam Hudes. In other high-profile class actions, the group is defending ArcelorMittal in connection with an alleged cartel to reduce production of steel products, and BASF regarding alleged price fixing. Practice chair Robert Bloch’s ‘commitment to excellence is unmatched’, and his ‘track record of success is remarkable’; noted as a ‘most skilful healthcare antitrust adviser’, he successfully led the defense of insurer Blue Shield California against allegations of unfair competition. On the non-contentious side, the group is advising The Mosaic Company on its proposed $1.4bn acquisition of CF Industries’ phosphate fertilizer business; the partners on the deal are Richard Favretto, the ‘reliable’ John Roberti, and Adrian Steel, who is praised for his ‘great breadth of knowledge’. The lawyers named are all located in Washington DC.

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Within M&A: large deals ($1bn-5bn), Mayer Brown is a second tier firm,

A go-to firm for large, sophisticated transactions requiring a high level of client service and expertise’, Mayer Brown has a ‘deal-savvy and responsive’ team which is ‘incredibly valuable to M&A transactions. Its attorneys have the business acumen to deliver great legal advice while understanding the business issues’. The practice acted for HSBC Finance on the $3.2bn sale of its personal unsecured loan and personal homeowner loan portfolios to SpringCastle Acquisition, a Delaware-based company owned by Springleaf Finance and Newcastle Investment Corporation, and the related sale of a loan servicing facility and related assets to Springleaf. It also advised Packaging Corporation of America on its $2bn acquisition of Boise, a manufacturer of packaging and paper products; assisted Sinochem on its $1.7bn acquisition of a 40% interest in Pioneer Natural Resources (Wolfcamp asset), from Pioneer Natural Resources Company; and acted for Gulf Oil on its $1bn acquisition of Houghton International, an international supplier of metal finish fluids and industrial lubricants, from AEA Investors. Recent mid-market experience includes advising The Jordan Company on the $505m sale of Kinetek to Japan-based Nidec Corporation; acting for ACE on its $865m acquisition of ABA Seguros, Mexico’s sixth-largest property and casualty insurer, from Ally Financial; and acting for The Carlyle Group and Stone Point Capital in gaining the required approval of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, as part of their $665.5m acquisition of Duff & Phelps Corporation. Chicago-based Marc Sperberhas great technical knowledge, is very responsive, and has excellent working relationships with his clients’; New York-based David Carpenter ‘always provides valuable contributions’, and David Alberts, Philip Brandes, Todd Bowen, James Carlson, Edward Davis, Jeffrey Gordon, Thomas Vitale and Reb Wheeler are also experienced attorneys. In Chicago, Edward Best, John Boelter, Paul Crimmins, Scott Davis and Christian Fabian are well regarded; and Nina Flax and Jennifer Keating are ‘incredibly gifted’. William Kuceratakes client service to levels that few other attorneys attain or could attain. He develops a special rapport with his clients – when combined with his deep experience, perspective and humor, this helps clients practically weigh matters and explore options without getting lost in the weeds or risking making short-sighted decisions’. William Heller and Harry Beaudry joined the Houston office from Thompson & Knight LLP.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Construction, tier 4

Mayer Brown fields dedicated construction lawyers focusing on specific industry groups, and benefits from the firm’s international network. It handles PPP infrastructure developments, greenfield projects, traditional and renewable energy matters, and project finance deals. Infrastructure projects are typically handled by the Chicago office, while Houston-based Charles Kelley is strong on energy matters. In Chicago, practice head Joanna Horsnail is leading advice to the Texas Department of Transportation on the bidding, negotiation and procurement process relating to design/build agreements and concessions for seven alternative delivery highway projects throughout Texas, valued in excess of $1bn. The firm also acted as sponsor counsel to WVB East End Partners, an international consortium comprised of Bilfinger Project Investments International, VINCI Concessions and Walsh Investors, on a $763m municipal infrastructure project connecting the east of Kentucky to southern Indiana. Nathan Galer was promoted to partner in January 2013, and Hugh McCombs retired.

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Within Real estate, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown’s ‘fantastic transactional practice’ has 25 partners across seven offices. This ‘professional’ group has ‘excellent cross-border expertise’ and is ‘dedicated to client care’. Among recent highlights, it advised Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs on a number of real estate finance transactions totalling $2.6bn, and advised affiliates of The Prudential Insurance Company of America on a number of matters; these included the $184m acquisition of the Sabadell Bank building in Miami, Florida, the $92.4m acquisition of a Sofitel hotel in Redwood City, California and the $84.6m acquisition of The James hotel in Soho, New York. Key players in the department include Frank Henneburg and the ‘outstandingKeith Willner in Washington DC, Scott Buser and Leonard Rosenberg in Palo Alto, and Jeffrey Usow in Chicago and Brian Davis – who recently joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP – in Chicago.

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United States: Tax

Within Domestic tax: Central, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Chicago-based Joel Williamson leads the tax controversy group at the ‘exceptionalMayer Brown. He and his team filed 15 Tax Court petitions on behalf of Tyco, potentially relating to nearly $10bn in interest expense incurred over a period of ten years. The firm is also representing Boston Scientific Corporation and its subsidiaries in six related actions filed in the US Tax Court. James Barry leads the transactional practice, and Lee Morlock is also recommended; Morlock has acted for Caterpillar in multiple sales and divestitures across the automotive, agricultural, construction and mining industries, many of them cross-border. Other significant clients include Barclays Capital, AltaGas, Chicago Board of Trade, Nestlé Holdings and The Tribune Company. The group further increased its capabilities in the energy sector with the addition of Edward Osterberg, who joined Shawn O’Brien in the firm’s Houston office.

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Within Domestic tax: East Coast, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown is primarily recognized for its formidable strength in tax controversy matters, but the firm’s broader practice, encompassing tax planning, compliance and structuring at federal, state and international level, should not be overlooked. Jason Bazar in New York and James Barry in Chicago are key partners, and the firm continues to develop its East Coast presence; Mark Leeds and Lewis Greenwald joined in New York in early 2013 from Greenberg Traurig LLP and Sullivan & Worcester respectively. Jason Osborn re-joined the Washington DC office in January 2013 after a period working at the IRS. Work highlights included advising Carlyle as collateral manager on the issuance of $623m in floating, fixed-rate and subordinated notes in a CLO transaction; New York-based Russell Nance and the recently promoted Michael Marion were the key partners involved.

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Within International tax, Mayer Brown is a third tier firm,

Mayer Brown has an ‘excellent’ tax practice. It is widely acknowledged for its expertise in tax controversy matters, but its experience extends to structuring and compliance. It advises an impressive client portfolio on inbound and outbound tax planning, global reorganizations and restructurings, intangibles and transfer pricing. Key figures in the area include Kenneth Klein in Washington DC and Edward Osterberg in Houston. Larry Langdon in Palo Alto and Joel Williamson in Chicago are recognized for their strength in contentious issues. Recent work includes advising Nestlé on its $11.85bn acquisition of Pfizer Nutrition, a complex global transaction involving more than 40 jurisdictions; James Barry and Lee Morlock (both in Chicago) were among the partners involved.

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Within Tax controversy, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown is ‘among the best’ and fields a large team (including 18 partners) dedicated exclusively to tax controversy and transfer pricing. The firm’s extensive experience spans the full gamut of controversy work, from administrative appeals to litigation in the trial court and at appellate court level. The practice is co-headed by Joel Williamson in Chicago and Larry Langdon in Palo Alto. Williamson is a ‘skilled trial lawyer’ praised for his ‘great judgment’, and Langdon is much admired in the market. The firm is representing Exelon in its high-profile case challenging nearly $500m in tax deficiencies claimed by the IRS. Washington DC-based Charles Triplett is a ‘very skilled negotiator’, and Tom Durham in Chicago is also recommended. Other clients include Boston Scientific, Altera, Tyco and Flextronics International.

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Latin America: International firms

Within Banking and finance, Mayer Brown is a second tier firm,

Mayer Brown remains one of the major international players in Latin America. For years it has successfully targeted the key Latin America markets, although in recent times it has also gained a reputation for transactions emanating from less developed markets such as several Central American states. It is prominent in Colombia and Peru, and has ‘good banking relationships’ with clients such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Citibank. Structured finance is a key strength of the firm globally, and it has applied this expertise to the Latin America market with considerable success. Other areas of expertise include project finance, particularly mining sector financings and wind farm projects. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert, a fluent Spanish and Portuguese speaker, has worked on a series of project bonds, most notably in Peru. In April 2014, he and New York partner David Bakst advised BNP Paribas and HSBC as underwriters on a $432m project bond issuance by Abengoa Transmisión Sur, the project relating to the design, construction, development, ownership and operation of a transmission line which will deliver power connectivity from Lima to south-western Peru. Chicago partner Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America practice and co-heads the global banking and finance practice, and is a prominent name in Latin America related structured finance transactions and securitisations. In November 2013 he advised Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriters on the $450m Rule 144A/Reg. S bond offering of airline ticket receivables by the Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group. New York partner David Duffee is recommended for syndicated bank lending, acquisition financing and restructurings in Latin America, along with Chicago partner James Patti for general lending and structured finance.

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Within Capital markets, tier 4

Mayer Brown has a longstanding connection to Latin America, and in the capital markets arena this is most evident in its structured finance and securitisation track record. It has also leveraged its infrastructure and project finance expertise into a flourishing project bonds practice, particularly in Mexico and Peru, and is leading the way in the developing covered bond market in Latin America. The firm benefits from solid links to many influential banks which frequently act as underwriters in the Latin America region, such as HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, and it also represents a number of Latin American financial institutions as issuers. In 2013 it acted for Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as the underwriters on a $300m secured amortising bond offering by Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, Argentina’s national airport operator, to finance new construction works at the country’s main international airport. Chicago-based head of the Latin America practice and co-head of the global banking and finance practice Douglas Doetsch is a key figure on structured finance transactions in the region, and in 2013 advised the underwriters in relation to Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group’s $450m Rule 144A/Reg. S bond offering of airline ticket receivables, marking the first securitisation of airline ticket receivables in Latin America since 2002. Chicago partner James Patti is another pivotal member of the practice, as are New York partners David Bakst and John Berkery. Chicago-based Christopher Erckert is a prominent figure on the project bonds side, leading the team on several recent deals including acting for the underwriters on Abengoa Transmisión Sur’s $432m senior secured project bond to finance the design, construction, development, ownership and operation of a transmission line to deliver power connectivity from Lima to south-western Peru. Relations with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown LLP gives the firm additional credibility in Latin America’s largest economy.

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Within Corporate and M&A, tier 4

Mayer Brown is well connected in Latin America, not just via Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown LLP in Brazil, but also through its focus on the region from key offices such as New York, Chicago and Houston. It has a particularly prolific record in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. In early 2014 it advised Helix Energy Solutions on agreements with Siem Offshore and Petrobras to provide two new-build monohull intervention vessels to be employed offshore Brazil. The firm also has a strong focus on Mexico, and has demonstrated a keen interest in the impact of the energy reforms there and what they may lead to in terms of cross-border investment; Houston partners Dallas Parker and Jose Valera both carry some authority on this subject. Fellow Houston partner Pablo Ferrante is another prominent figure on Latin America transactions, particularly in the oil and gas sector, and Chicago partner Matthew Posthuma is well regarded for private equity and real estate investment transactions.

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Within Projects and energy, Mayer Brown is a first tier firm,

Mayer Brown has an illustrious record in Latin America, particularly in relation to project finance and latterly in the project bonds segment. The firm is equally respected amongst sponsors and lenders and is known for its expertise in the mining, power and infrastructure sectors. Many recognise the firm’s reputation amongst ECAs and MLAs. Wind farm projects are also a growing area of activity for the Latin America team. In 2013, the firm represented the lenders on the $130m 50MW Orosi wind power project in Costa Rica. Chicago partner and co-chair of the global projects group Barry Machlin was the lead partner on the project and heads the team that is representing the Panama Canal Authority in connection with its $5.25bn expansion programme. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently, has an excellent reputation in the projects environment and has taken a series of advisory roles in headline infrastructure and project bond transactions. In April 2014, he and New York partner David Bakst led the team that advised BNP Paribas and HSBC as underwriters on the $432bn project bond issuance by Abengoa Transmisión Sur. The project bond is connected to the design, construction, development, ownership and operation of a transmission line that will deliver power connectivity from Lima to south-western Peru.

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Latin America: International firms


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